A HUNDRED years ago at a conference on October 17 and 18 at Central Hall Westminster, the Cooperative Party was launched as a political voice.

Its aim was to fight the hindrances and opposition towards collective and cooperative ways of working and running businesses, which emanated from the political establishment of the day.

Later in 1927 an agreement was signed between the Cooperative and Labour Parties recognising their common historic links and the need to work together.

There are now 38 Labour and Cooperative MPs at Westminster, including our own David Drew, and thousands of Labour and Cooperative councillors in local government.

I was privileged to be Stroud’s Cooperative Party delegate at the Centenary celebrations in London.

Over the weekend we heard of many cooperative innovations in both business and services, including energy and housing provision;, care services and cooperative schools.

Jeremy Corbyn, in his fraternal speech, said he saw the cooperative model as key in managing services and utilities taken back into public ownership under a future Labour government.

Citizens’ and workforce voices should be at the heart of governance. Cooperative ideas could change Britain.

Jo Smith